Five members of the 2018 edition of the WNBA’s – and SoCal’s – Los Angeles Sparks (from left to right): Cappie Poindexter, Candace Parker, Chelsea Gray, Nneka Ogwumike, and Alana Beard. Photo courtesy of sports.ragingtopics.com
LOS ANGELES SPARKS – 2018
2017 Record: 26-8, Second place in the WNBA Western Conference, one game behind the Minnesota Lynx
- Beat the Phoenix Mercury in the WNBA Semi Finals, three games to none
- Lost to the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA Finals, three games to two
Coach: Brian Agler, 4th year
Key Players (2017 stats):
- Candace Parker, F/C: 16.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg, 4.3 apg
- Nneka Ogwumike, F: 18.8 ppg, 7.7 rpg
- Chelsea Gray, G: 14.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 4.4 apg
- Odyssey Sims, G: 9.6 ppg, 3.5 apg
Current Record (2018): 3-1
Last Game: Beat the Phoenix Mercury in their home opener at Staples Center, 80-72, on May 27th
Next Game: vs the Minnesota Lynx at Staples Center on Sunday, June 3rd
Highlights from the Sparks’ first home game of 2018, an 80-72 win over the Phoenix Mercury on May 27th. Courtesy of YouTube (click on the link).
A Few Thoughts and a Prediction:
Nothing I’ve seen so far has told me that the Sparks’ chances at winning their fourth WNBA title will be any different from the past couple of years, as like their co-tenants at Staples Center, the Lakers, this is clearly one of the WNBA’s elite franchises.
With a hardcore rival in Minnesota to boot, as those Lynx have become to the Sparks what the Celtics are to the Lakers; meeting in the WNBA Finals for two years running should convince any fan of that sentiment.
One thing I noticed as I took a look at this year’s roster is that some of the Sparks’ essential players are starting to get a bit, for lack of a better term, older.
Guards Alana Beard and Cappie Poindexter are in their mid-30s, while at just-turned 32 all-universe forward/center Candace Parker has started to show her age in missing the team’s first three games with a back issue, not breaking her seal in 2018 until last Sunday against Phoenix.
This tells me that the window for these ladies winning more championships like the one they won in such spectacular fashion in 2016 is starting to close a little.
Meanwhile, with them having a good start in winning three of their first four games, I’m seeing these Sparks as having another very good campaign – here’s my official prediction…
They should be one of the teams in the WNBA Finals again with Minnesota, like in the previous three seasons – barring any bad injuries, why should this season be any different?
I had a good time checking them out last year in Staples, though they completely blew a lead and lost to a mediocre Chicago Sky team in my first ever visit to Staples; that didn’t really spoil my experience in seeing my very first pro basketball game, however.
I hope I’m able to see another game this summer; we’ll see.